The Landlord/Tenant Relationship

Landlords and tenants both have rights and obligations when a tenancy agreement is entered into. Some of these rights and obligations cannot be changed, even if there is a mutual agreement made between the parties.

This brochure outlines the main requirements of both parties, for full details on rights and responsibilities; refer to the Residential Tenancies Act 1995.

If you have a query about your rights or responsibilities, contact the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs (OCBA) Tenancies Branch on 8204 9544, or visit Level 1, 91-97 Grenfell Street, Adelaide.

The landlord/tenant relationship begins when a landlord agrees to rent residential premises to a tenant. “Premises” includes the land and buildings contained on it, and all things provided for use by the tenant.

However, a landlord and tenant may agree at the beginning of the tenancy to exclude certain parts of the premises as being for the landlord’s use only. A tenancy agreement can be written, verbal or even implied. It does not need to be in writing to be binding.

If parties wish to enter into a written agreement, a copy of a standard lease agreement is available free from the Tenancies Branch, or from our website at The landlord must pay any cost associated with the preparation of a written lease. There is to be no cost to the tenant.